President Obama called for the renewal of the “spirit of discovery” that’s embedded in America’s DNA in his state of the Union address on Tuesday night.
“We’re Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers and George Washington Carver,” he said, noting the inventors of the lightbulb, the airplane, and the man who made use of the peanut.
“We’re Grace Hopper and Katherine Johnson and Sally Ride,” he said.
While some of the names are household names (and/or have been featured as Google Doodles) a few aren’t. As a refresher, here’s a quick rundown of what made the individuals Obama made note of in his last State of the Union address worthy of the shout out.
One sentence bio: One of the most important inventors in our nation’s history, Thomas Edison held over 1,093 patents and developed groundbreaking innovations that changed the way we experienced the world.
Most famous inventions: The electric lightbulb, phonograph, the motion picture camera
Read More: Read the Full Transcript of Obama’s Final State of the Union
The Wright Brothers
One sentence bio: Tapping into their knowledge of bicycles, Wilbur and Orville Wright were the first to get a piloted plane into the air.
Most famous invention: The Wright Flyer
George Washington Carver
One sentence bio: Despite being born into slavery, George Washington Carver invented over 100 products from the peanut.
Most famous invention: Though he did not invent peanut butter, he did use the peanut to create shaving cream, dyes, glue and lotion.
One sentence bio:Lesser known than some of the other notables mention on Tuesday, Rear Admiral Dr. Grace Hopper earned a doctorate in mathematics in the 1930s and took on the task of programming some of the first computers.
Most famous invention: COBOL computer language, the “first user-friendly business computer software program”
Read More: Grace Hopper in TIME in 1986
One sentence bio: Sally Ride became the first American woman to ever fly in space in 1983
One sentence bio: Johnson is an African-American scientist and mathematician, whose contributions to aeronautics had implications far beyond her years on the job.
Greatest achievement: According to the White House, “she played a huge role in calculating key trajectories in the Space Race—calculating the trajectory for Alan Shepard, the first American in space, as well as for the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the moon.”
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